New Veterans Retirement Among Exceptions In Sen. Janssen Tax Bill

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Military members can retire before they turn 40, leaving them with plenty of hard-working years ahead. One state senator aims to bring those early retirees to Nebraska through a new bill.

The military retirement tax exemption is just one part of the long tax reform bill from Senator Charlie Janssen. The senator hopes his new tax reform bill could help attract those specialized workers to Nebraska.

Janssen says retirees are often young enough that they can bring not only valuable knowledge, but also years of future labor into Nebraska. The current tax policy for military retirement doesn't compare to other states.

One man who testified said he came back to live in Nebraska only for his wife.

"I'm a ballistics missile expert, navy intelligence, a masters degree, certified with the department of homeland security, FEMA, certified anti-terror specialist. Why would you not even consider the military benefit of that bill, bringing these type of people with their families back to the state?" said Eric Castillo, a veteran.

Following the hearing on Senator Janssen's bill, Senator Sue Crawford took the floor to open her bill which deals solely with exempting military retirement from state income tax.

Critics of Janssen's bill said there not sure how the state would run with reduced revenue.

"It is impossible to assume that these costs would not come with expenses of job-training programs, state infrastructure programs and state aid to education. In other words, where is the money going to come from?," said Rodney Vlcek from the Nebraska State AFL-CIO.

They point to Kansas, which recently enacted similar tax cuts, and a current lawsuit because they can no longer fund K-12 education.